A Twelve Year-Old Looks at Economic Policy

Editor’s note: Following is a (brief) blog post from Wiley 4. We’ve been trying to make him write one every 2 months, but we haven’t been super religious about it. Here are his most recent thoughts on something every 12 year-old ponders…minimum wage. Feel free to engage in debate with him, if you so choose.

Opinion Article

by Wiley Long

Topic-Minimum Wage

Minimum wage is a heavy topic in the United States and I believe that every person has a different opinion about it, clearly, this is not a black and white topic.

So, right away-Do I believe there should be a minimum wage?-No. But why don’t I believe that there should be a minimum wage in the United States is a bigger question.

In the United States we have freedom, we have the right to work for any price we agree to work for. If someone wants to pay someone $2/hour to make hamburgers at MacDonald’s, and that person agrees to work for $2/hour to make hamburgers at MacDonald’s than they should be able to do that. $7.25/hour is a pretty normal price that I think – even if there wasn’t a minimum wage –  most people wouldn’t go too far below. On the other hand, in Vermont where the minimum wage is $9.15/hr, that just seems unfair for a small business owner who maybe owns a tiny little restaurant who has to pay someone $9.15/hr to sweep their floor.

In the end, it’s one of those things that I just don’t understand how people for minimum wage don’t get. Anyway, I hope that one day, things will be different and maybe anyone reading maybe changed there mind a bit.

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Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay, Canta y no Llores!

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The author of today’s posting is Wiley Long, IV. It’s about his recent experiences with his classmates at camp. Please enjoy!

This is a blog post about Quinta Camp, which was a camp I got to go on for school with a couple other bilingual schools too. My mom thought it was necessary that I point out that it was all in Spanish, so, there you go and please enjoy.

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Wiley, with his buddy Kit in the foreground, arriving at Quinta Camp

I arrived at 2:00 in the afternoon to get on the bus. It was one of those nice luxury buses with comfortable seats and a bathroom that you would take on a trip to go to another city if you had no other means of transportation. I sat down in the very front seat. Pelón, the owner/main leader of the camp gave a talk to the parents about how it was totally safe and that there was nothing to worry about. Then, we set off. We drove all the way to the other state, San Luis Potosí, and then turned on to a smaller road that was basically a strip of asphalt through the forest. We parked at an indention in the road next to a white garage and I thought we were finally there, but I was wrong. The luggage was put into two trucks and a trailer and we all climbed into an extremely “this could break down any moment” feeling red school bus and set off down a rocky dirt road. I checked, none of the gauges worked, and I don’t think there was a hand brake. It took about 45 minutes and it felt like I could of ran there faster but eventually we got to Quinta Camp.

When we arrived it was about 6:30, so the whole trip had taken about 3 ½ hours. There were five cabins, three for the girls, and two for the boys.

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Wiley and his fellow campers

For the rest of the day we just got settled into our cabins, got situated with everything, and had dinner (enchiladas potosí). At night we went to the main cabin for casino night. Everyone started with ten poker chips and you had to win more by playing games (I won big in roulette). At the end of the night the poker chips were cashed in for candy and we went to bed at 2:00 in the morning.

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Wiley performs “El Cielito Lindo”, probably the most famous Mexican folk song (only because it was used in Frito’s advertising in the U.S. in the 70’s) to the delight of his fellow campers

Then we woke up… the same day, around 9:00. After eating breakfast, we all met in the basketball court to be assigned our activities for the day. Our cabin the Halcones (Hawks), were assigned rappel, then canoeing, then rifle. After this, we ate lunch and we were assigned for the cave. We crawled in through the cave in two groups; I was in the first group. We went crawling through the tiny space with our chests against the muddy wet ground. There are lots of spiders and apparently tarantulas but we didn’t see any of those. After that that we just hung out until dinner. After dinner we went to our cabin to practice for a skit. We ended up doing a skit about Quinta Camp as a village with the different people of Quinta Camp and Pelón as people in the village and I got to sing Cielito Lindo, a traditional Mexican song.

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Campers in costume

The next day we got up and did kayaks, the iceberg (a floating thing that you climb on in the middle of the lake), zip line, we went on a hike, we did the quinta games, and the slide. At night we did a treasure hunt. Everyone brought their flashlights to the mess hall and they turned off all the lights. Pelón told a story about pirate treasure and then he would slam the silverware and the girls would scream like crazy. We lost the treasure hunt, but we won pretty much everything else.

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The last night of camp, and the 70’s disco party

On Saturday, we had archery and paintball. Then we did this thing in the lake that was basically a race based in groups. Two people would swim to the kayaks and then would give their life jackets to two people there and they would go to the canoes and so on. Our cabin won. As we were freezing from the cold lake and it was raining and no one brought towels we walked over to something called Commando. It was basically a mud run and there were obstacles and stuff then we all went back and took showers. For dinner there were hotdogs and after that it was the dance. We all went in with our partners than sat at tables with the rest of our cabin. The beginning was just so you could eat candy and talk to your friends about Quinta Camp being over, then they had the awards. They were for things like “Barbie” and Johnny Bravo” and “Duracell.” After that we all left and stood outside while they changed it into a disco. Then we all went in again and danced until 3:00 in the morning.

The next day we got up, packed up all are things, and left on the bus. When I got back, My parents had just gotten back from Mexico City, so they hadn’t gotten there yet and I had to wait awhile. Then they came, and I was back home.

 

A now a word from the 11 year-old

(Editor’s note: This is Wiley 4’s first blog post.  Even though I hate this acronym (being a child of the 70’s I will never give up “jk”) I lol’ed at this, and I thought you would too.  That’s why I’ve left it unedited. – CL)

Whenever we (my mom, my dad, and I) go to someone’s house or something like that

and we get to talking about the move to Mexico people always ask me “Are you excited about

going to Mexico?, How do you feel about the move?. Well, everytime someone asks me this I

always say that I’m excited and can’t wait, which is the truth, but for the sake of everyone who

hasn’t been able to ask me this question in person, I write this blog.

              When my parents told me we were going to move somewhere for a year I was still

excited, but it was all very foggy. We barely had any idea about where we were going and

definintely weren’t planning out school, work, or any other ways to spend our time. After looking

into many places in Mexico, Uruguay, Panama, Chile, and Puerto Rico we finally settled on San

Miguel de Allende, a Mexican town we read about in the magazine “International Living”. This is

probably review for most of you, but bear with me. We took a trip to San Miguel, loved it, and

decided to move there. Then came the laborious process of finding housing, school, things like

that. School was the big thing for me. I didn’t know if I would have to become fluent in Spanish or

what, so I was a little anxious. My parents were also a little anxious because they didn’t really

want to homeschool me. The IB private school was a big reason we decided to move there. We

took a second trip to San Miguel and found an AWESOME house called Casa Santiago. Well, the

truth is I don’t remember it (we looked at so many) so I’ve just kind of blended them all together.

As our departure from the country nears (June 28), things are getting crazy. Theres boxes

everywhere and my whole desk is empty. It really weird, but thank god we didn’t rent it out

unfurnished. I bought this really nice camera and a nice stand that I will be taking many sets of

pictures with (expect about one a month posted here  and a link to a slideshow of all the pictures

in that set (but this is experimental (that’s right im using triple parentheses))). So, as you can tell,

I’m really excited about the move. Maybe 10% of me is a little worried about school but that’s it.

With every slideshow of pictures I put out, a short little blog will come with it. If you have any

specific question just ask it in the comments and I’ll answer it next blog post.